The number of livestock farms in the Netherlands should be reduced and the size of the remaining companies reduced. This is necessary to prevent the spread of diseases that can be transmitted between humans and animals. This is the gist of advice from a group of medical experts to the outgoing Cabinet, which Ministers Van Ark and Schuten are writing to the Chamber of Deputies.
Experts have been tasked with working in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Experts say that although it is likely that an upcoming outbreak will not occur in the Netherlands, more far-reaching measures must be taken in our country.
Experts say livestock farms should be much less dense to prevent diseases from being transmitted from one farm to another. But they write that more research is needed to determine the lower accuracy.
They also advise the Council of Ministers not to allow new poultry farms in areas where there are many waterfowl. The number of companies in such areas should be reduced as much as possible.
The researchers also argue in favor of further research and encouragement of animal vaccination.
Van Ark and Schuten spoke of “resolute recommendations” that had “a big impact”. “At the same time, public health always comes first, and the government concludes that the risk of spreading zoonoses is an additional and important reason to carefully consider incorporating rural livestock farming,” Schouten and Van Ark said.
The ministers concluded that “the risk of zoonoses must be taken into account as an important factor in shaping policy in the area of nitrogen, climate, soil and water quality.” A spokesperson for the Ministry of Agriculture says it is ultimately up to the new cabinet as to whether or not the measures should be implemented.